Watching a segment on 60 Minutes with Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters prompted me to write this blog post. As I watched the story, I heard myself shouting “yes, yes, yes!” when he was talking about doing something you love. And he happens to love music and that’s exactly what he does. He did music before he became a rock star and he still does music now that he is one.
I recall struggling years ago with what to do next in my career. I had a really good job, was making decent money and some thought I was one lucky duck. It wasn’t so much that I disliked my job; I simply did not want to do that job any more. Though others thought it was the perfect job for me, I did not.
The perfect job is one you like – not what someone else likes for you.
The perfect job is one that suits you best.
The perfect job is one that fits you well today – not yesterday.
The perfect job is one you think about with eagerness, optimism and enthusiasm, not dread, disdain and disenchantment.
The perfect job is one you can’t wait to get to on a daily basis.
I recall going to a recruiter when I was struggling with what was next for me in the world of work. I like recruiters. When I was looking for a job, I always had good luck with them. One day, the recruiter I was visiting asked me to come to work for him. I told him that while I appreciated his confidence in me, my heart was set on graduate school and starting my own business. It was also the preposition that made me pause…”I want you to come to work FOR me.” What I didn’t hear was “I want you to come to work WITH me.” For and with – two very different words with two very different outcomes.
And to this day, I still remember what he said next.
“Starting your own business is a very bad idea – you will fall flat on your face and then you will wish you would have gone to work for me.”
Right then and there as I left his office, I knew that no matter how long it took, how hard it was or the many challenges ahead, I knew with certainty what I was going to do.
If you are thinking about starting a business because that’s what is in your head and in your heart and you simply can’t stop thinking about it – pay attention.
You don’t need to wait for someone to give you permission to start a business. You give yourself permission. That’s it; that’s all. You do not need to latch on to someone else’s negativity – the someone who tells you what you can’t do. (I am not talking about all of the legal/accounting/compliance matters requisite to going into business – I am talking about finding the courage to go and do your own thing.)
And when and if you decide that being in business is not for you, so be it.
There’ll always be something else for you to do – have skills, will travel.
“You weren’t born with a job title imprinted on your forehead.”